A Growing Demand for Poetry Books

Where were you when American poetess Sylvia Plath gassed herself in her London kitchen at the age of 30 during the harsh winter of 1963?

Not perhaps the stuff our memories are made of, but all that could change. There is a distinct revival worldwide of interest in poetry and poets. This is expressed in the increased purchase of poetry books – anthologies and works by individual poets – in the new and secondhand book markets.

There are a number of reasons for this:

The internet allows the discussion and publication of poetry in a way previously impossible considering the uneconomic nature of the physical publishing poetry and publishing critiques, both amateur and academic.

The brash and materialistic eighties preceded the fantastic and terrified nineties. Now here we are here in the middle of the first decade of the 21st century, more sober and reflective, wondering where the world is going.

Out of this a generation is emerging a present-day version of the 60’s and 70’s dreamers and idealists. They want more than self-help books, more than herbal remedies and fatuous fantasies. There is a return to serious intellectual examination and spiritual actualization.

And by serious I don’t mean lacking in humor. I’m talking about intellectual acuity (take the works of travel poet Bill Bryson for instance) compared to idiotic ramblings (say the books of creative conspiracy theorist David Icke). Bryson is funny and perceptive while Icke is obtuse and laughable. There’s a big difference.  We are moving away from weak thoughts to profundity.

Can there be any explanation other than this when a 17-year-old youth enters our bookshop asking for The Complete Works of Byron, or when a blonde girl no older than 15 says she is searching for the poems of Shelley?

In a decade of book-selling this has never happened before. Suddenly we are buying poetry books again to meet demand, and retrieving the slim poetry books we relegated to boxes in the basement, to create a special poetry section.

This makes sense of the revival of interest in the sixties ballad-poets: Leonard Cohen and Joan Baez. Once again Bob Dylan is speaking to the contemporary generation. T.S. Eliot and Ted Hughes are being discussed again. The demand for the work of Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran can barely be met. Dylan Thomas is revisited. There is renewed interest in the war poets and so-called world poetry: the Senegalese, Thai, French and Swedish poets.

And why not? It is possible because the books are available and affordable, thanks to the international online book-buying market and the renewed interest in poetic thought.

Can a rediscovery of Shakespeare’s sonnets and Milton’s Paradise Lost  be far off? Horde any old poetry books and poetry anthologies you still have. You could catch your children reading them one day in a way you never did.

Call it poetic justice.

What You Should Know About The New Amazon Kindle Wireless Ebook Reader

With the recent release of the Amazon Kindle ebook reader the Sony ebook reader range face some competition in this new and getting hotter market. Interestingly enough, most reviewers either love it or hate it – there doesn’t seem to be any middle ground, despite it having some really neat features. Admittedly, a lot of the complaints seem to be where buyers have a specific requirement and the Kindle doesn’t offer that function.

In all fairness, if you need it for something specific then make sure that it can do it!. Users, whilst generally hating the design, really love the functionality of the Kindle reader in that the navigation buttons are on either side so left or right handed people can use it with ease. The display, a 6″ diagonal E-Ink® electronic paper display, 600 x 800 pixel resolution at 167 ppi, 4-level gray scale which uses e ink {although converted electronically} tries to emulate newsprint and as such can be read easily in sunlight without the normal glare associated with PC screens. The Qwerty keyboard is used to control and take advantage of the Whispernet technology for downloading and surfing – it’s a direct connection and doesn’t need Wifi hotspots or ISP’s. The battery, which takes about two hours to charge will give you one week of reading but much less if you’re downloading but should last about 2 days.

You have access to Wikipedia, about 250 top blogs and a whole host of Newspapers. The fact that it is only the size of a paperback and weighs just 10.3 ounces with a capacity of 200 books means you’ll never be short of reading material and the easily adjustable font size allows you to find a comfortable reading level according to the ambience around you. It doesn’t incorporate a backlit screen though so, if like me, you like reading in bed you’ll still be juggling about with the torch!

If you’re expecting an all singin’ dancin’ piece of technology in this ebook reader you’ll probably be disappointed since it doesn’t fully support PDF {The Kindle can read unsecured Mobipocket books, and Amazon has provided a still experimental converter for unsecured PDFs}. There is, however, no way to read encrypted versions of either format- annotating articles isn’t possible – you’re limited to the Kindle ebooks available and their pricing structure, also remember that the screen is black and white so magazine articles and pics will take some adjusting to.

The MP3 player seems to be causing some problems as it will only random play and the user has little control over this aspect and users think that Amazon, with its own encrypted books, are trying to ensure that all content comes from them and are just trying to exercise too much control. You can transfer over unencrypted ebooks via SD card or even email them to yourself but the latter choice incurs a 10c fee. There are a few options for storage if you exceed the Kindles memory – you can store them onto a SD card and then transfer them to your PC via USB or Amazon can store them online for you and it does seem possible that you can access Streamload’s site via the Whispernet facility to up and download as you wish.

The main controversy that the Kindle reader opens up is that of pricing, not only of the reader itself but of ebooks in general. Many users of the reader are complaining about the price of some of the ebooks where there is only a small reduction in price compared to the hard back copy. Ebooks are growing in popularity all the time and it is going to be a while though before all publishers and retailers will get their heads together and sort out some commonalities. In comparison the Sony ebook readers don’t have the advantage of the e-ink screen and may be more difficult to read in certain lighting conditions but it does give you easier access to a wider and cheaper range of ebooks.

So should you buy one? – if the higher price tag doesn’t concern you and you’re one of the “gotta have’s” then you’ve probably already decided it should be on your list – personally I’d look at some of the alternatives and wait for not only a later version, which will probably be significantly cheaper anyway, but some of the niggling problem areas may well have been sorted.

Learn to Play Guitar through Guide Books

The internet offers several alternatives in order to learn how to play a guitar. Many individuals are quite interested in learning how to play this interesting musical instrument. Through guitar playing, you can express your feelings and even your mood. One way to learn how to play the guitar is through guide books.

You can find a lot of guitar books out in the market and all of them claim that you can surely learn right away. Learning the whole process of guitar playing through guide books is effective because you can find all the needed information so that you can learn easily and effectively.

There are some pros and cons in using guitar books to learn guitar playing. Some individuals learn easily with the use of guitar books but there are also those who find it really hard to learn the basics of playing guitar. Before you purchase any guitar books, make sure that you first look into these pros and cons.

If you think you can work alone in learning how to play a guitar, the books may be enough. Some of the pros in using guitar books are as follows:

– The lessons featured on the guitar books are informative and easy to understand

– The aspects of guitar playing are thoroughly discussed

– Lessons usually begin with the general basics of playing guitar

– You will also be taught advanced guitar lessons on the later part of the book

– You are free to stop at any level once you’re already satisfied with what you’ve learned

– Theory books also provide practice exercises to improve your playing skills

– Some books also contain lists of the common mistakes usually encountered by beginners and it also provides the necessary ways in order to correct such mistakes

– Guitar books are less expensive rather than hiring a professional guitar teacher

– You can find guitar books in many bookstores and you can also find them in online stores

– You can stay in your house and practice any time you like

– You can learn guitar playing comfortably through the books

Now, if there are pros in using guitar books to learn guitar playing, there is also cons. Check these cons:

– It has been proven through experience that many individuals who purchase guitar books often
leave the books to gather dust on the shelf

– If you’re not motivated enough and you’re rather an impatient individual, you can’t learn through the use of theory books

– You get distracted easily

– Reading a book is sometimes boring for some individuals and so they can’t focus their attention to learning the basics of guitar playing

– Using guitar books is not that fun

– Guitar books can’t provide you with sound demonstrations

– You can’t get any feedback and so you can’t monitor whether you’re improving or not

– You can’t easily ask for help just in case you’re stuck

It is entirely up to the individual whether he or she will use a guitar book to learn guitar playing or not. However, you definitely have to consider the pros and cons mentioned a bit earlier. You see, there are also other options that you can turn to if you think that you can’t learn through the books.

But if you’re confident, patient, and motivated, you can learn to play guitar through guide books.

Experience The Audiobook Phenomenon

Life has become more technological in order to make simple tasks easier. Audiobooks for instance have evolved considerably over the last 20 years bring with it new possibilities for portable entertainment.

An audiobook by old standards was a recording on a cassette tape of a particular book. Not these days. Now you can listen to a professional narrator spin a tale of adventure or teach you a language in several different portable formats. My favorite, the instant download to my MP3 Player. You can download to iPods or burn to CD’s thousands of different titles in every gender.

I downloaded the South Beach diet narrated by Dr Agaston himself. So now I can listen while at the gym and when I walk, even when I am doing household chores. It really helps me stay focused on my weight loss goals and the time passes quickly.

But health and motivation are only some of the audiobook categories available. How about a nail biting mystery, a hair raising thriller or a romantic tear jerker. Want to learn a second language, educational audio books are very popular and an excellent way to learn.

Many people lose a great deal of time doing nothing while commuting to and from their jobs. Audiobooks are perfect for traveling. Why not use that time to listen to an audio book, especially one that develops your mind and/or improves your professional and business skills? Thats right, there are many audio book courses made specifically for professionals to improve their skills in many areas of their professions.

Children love to listen to their favorite stories on audiobook. A good narrator will play all the character roles and really bring you into the story. What better way to get kids excited about great works of literature.

The benefits of audio books are endless. If you have never had the pleasure, now is the best time to give a listen.

Painting books for beginners and professionals

We all like being creative. Our busy schedule hardly gives us any time to spent time with our self’s. Constant focus on work makes our life dull. One of the best ways to make your life colorful is by doing some painting in your spare time. A Painting Book consists of some beautiful and decorative paintings.

Today you can find many painting book outlets providing some wonderful painting books. If you would like to learn painting you can find a painting book that meets your cause. There are books for beginners that provide step by step guidance of different aspects of painting. These books also provide you with some useful information about color mixing. Painting books are also available for advanced artist. These painting books are highly advanced and drive the artist to new world of creativity.

Some of the painting books for beginners and professional are
1.    Face Painting Book – will provide you all the tips and techniques that professional face painter artist use. The painting book provides you with all the fabulous face painting designs, simple and easy techniques and useful stepwise guidelines. The painting books consists books like creative painting books, facial art books, wild animal face books, scary face books, FX face books, etc. These books contain different tutorials on painting animal’s faces, scary faces, etc.
2.    Tole painting – is an art of decorative painting of metallic objects like tins, coffeepots, and other similar household items. This folk art began in the 18th century in New England. The paintings are a wonderful artwork done on the surfaces of many metal objects. Initially one needed to have natural skills to learn the art of Tole painting. But today even a fresher can learn the skill of painting, considering the number of painting books in the market.
3.    Oil Painting Book – If you wish to learn or polish the art of oil painting why not try an Oil Painting book. Today one can find different types of painting books in the market. Some of these painting books are more instructional while some are very informative. Any of these oil painting books is going to be a super score and will only help your cause to learn the art better.

Five Resons I Love Audiobooks

One of the hottest trends on the Internet these days is the downloading of audiobooks. I’ve been an audiobook fan for a long time and I have five reasons why I like them so much.

1)  Audiobooks are available in many formats and thus can be heard in many ways, on many devices.  After downloading, audiobooks are playable on computers, then can be burned to a disc, and can be loaded to an iPod or mp3 player.

2)  The amount of books I read per week is greatly increased because the amount of time I have to sit down and read written books is very limited.  Before audiobooks, I was able to squeeze in about 2 books a month.  I still do read about 1 per month, but now, I add another 2-5 audiobooks that I listen to in my car or on my iPod.

3)  Listening to audiobooks makes my downtime much more productive.  An example is on the commute to work.  Instead of listening to mindless radio, I prefer to listen to an audiobook.  I work closely with my customers and I enjoy audiobooks on business and relationships.  Since I started listening to the audiobooks on my commute, my productivity and bottom line have really taken off.

4)  I used to do business with an avid reader who recently had a stroke.  He is very happy that a friend turned him on to audiobooks.  He can now still keep his mind active and can learn from books with out having to pick them up and turning the pages.  His vision is also blurry so he has a hard time with words.  Audiobooks are also great for the visually impaired.  Rather then straining over reading small type, one only has to hit play and then can sit back and listen.

5)  I no longer have to chase people down to get books back after I loan them out.  We have all had this happen, you loan a friend a book and never see it again.  Now it is no real loss if you don’t get back a cd that you made from your computer.  Or it only takes a moment to load an audiobook to a friend’s iPod or mp3 player.

Audio Books – 10 Frequently Asked Questions – Part 2

The audio books era is already here. I keep hearing phrases like: Audio book rental, free audio books, audio book club, audio books on CD, online audio book rental services etc.

Here are the next five frequently asked questions about audio books (and the answers of course):

6. What kinds of audio books do you recommend to listen to?
Listen to audio books that you would read. Meaning, if you like thrillers, listen to thriller audio books, if you are looking for children books, get children audio books etc.

Yet, I suggest you get to know more other successful audio books kinds such as language tutorials and motivation audio books.

7. Are the old fashioned books going to disappear?
I don’t think so. In fact, I still prefer reading books before I’m going to sleep. The experience is a different one, and some people still prefer the old books. Yet, I believe that the reading habits of most of the world’s population will change in the next century thanks to audio books.

8. Can I find any book in an audio book format?
Unfortunately not any book could be found as an audio book. Yet, almost any new book and any bestseller from the last century are getting published as an audio book. Most of the old books could be found in the format of books on tape and the new ones as downloadable audio books and audio books on CD.

9. How can I listen to downloadable audio books?
You could listen to downloadable audio books using a media player on your desk top or your note book computer. However, most people use audio players like iPod to listen to downloadable audio books.

10. Where should I get my audio books?
The best place to get audio books from would be one of the online audio book services.

Audio Books: How To Download Them To Your Mp3 Player Hassle Free

Are MP3-technology portable players only good for playing cool tunes downloaded from the net? Far from it. They offer an alternative and a convenient listening addition to audio books on tape or CD.

What used to take days or weeks of waiting for the mail carrier to deliver your audio books on tape or CD, it now takes no more than a few minutes. You can be listening to your favorite MP3 books straight away. And it’s going to get even better, easier and quicker, judging from the giant advances in audio and web technologies in recent months.

The hard-core audiobook listeners may take a while to “convert” from using tapes and CDs to an MP3 format. The sheer convenience, perfect control and the size choices MP3 players offer, the “change-over period” is likely going to be a short one.

So, if you are a budding MP3 book pioneer and want the latest portable audio technology conveniences, they are waiting here to serve you without having to spend a fortune or extra time to do it right.

To download audio books in MP3 format to your computer and over to your MP3 player, look at the exact steps you need to take to do it quickly and easily.

Just note the following instructions use Windows Media Player – Version 10 as an example.
Let’s assume you are already good at downloading files from the web onto your computer.
Let’s also assume that you already own an MP3 player, but don’t know how to do this transfer correctly yet.

1. If you are using an older version of Windows Media Player and need to upgrade, surf over to Microsoft and download it at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/download. Follow the installation instructions.

2. Download the MP3 books to your computer. It is a good idea to create a separate folder, say in “My Documents” folder and name it “My Audio Books”. It allows you to keep your audio book downloads all in one location. Done it? Good.

3. Now, connect your computer (switched on) to the MP3 player using the USB cable supplied with your player.

4. Once the connection between the two is live, your computer will show that it has found a new piece of hardware. If it doesn’t say this, just unplug everything in the above sequence and try again.

5. Is it working now? Okay. Open your Windows Media Player and open the audio book MP3 file you want to copy. This will open your audio book in the main display area of Windows Media Player.

6. Add the audio book to the Sync List of your Windows Media Player.

7. Go ahead and click on the Sync tab on the Windows Media Player. It brings you to a pull-down arrow menu on the left-side box of the Sync tab. Make sure you select the choice “Removable Disk (E)”, or the name of your MP3 player as the source where the audio book will be copied to.

8. Do you see a display with the choice to “Start Sync” right now? Great! Go ahead and click on it. Once you’ve done this, the Windows Media Player will let you know that it’s sending the audio book to your MP3 player.

9. As soon as the sync (or copying) of the audio book file is complete, you can check to assure it is on your MP3 player. See it there? Excellent. One more step to go.

10. To finish this process properly, ensure you click on your PC’s hardware icon (found in your system tray – in the right bottom corner – usually a small icon with a green arrow) to “Safely Remove Hardware”.

Don’t remove the USB cable until you get a clear signal saying “Safe To Remove Hardware”.

Removing the USB cable without following this step may damage both your computer and the MP3 player.

Are you using an older version of Windows Media Player? Even so, you can still follow the steps above. The only major difference is that instead of having “Sync”, you will have “Copy” in the menu. You can click on it and follow the same steps above to have your audio book copied to your MP3 player.

If you have a portable MP3 player that uses a drag-and-drop file method instead of Windows Media Player synchronization, then the steps are easy to follow. Simply connect your player to the computer as above. Open the player’s window by clicking on its name or on “Removable Disc (for example E or F) under “My Computer” icon.

Then, open the MP3 books folder (the location where you have them saved) in a separate window. Keep both windows open side-by-side. Now, left-click, hold and drag the audio files over to the open window of the portable player. Once you release the left mouse button, there will be a short file-transfer moment. Done? Now, your MP3 books are on your player, ready for you to enjoy listening to it.

Audio Books – 10 Frequently Asked Questions – Part 1

My friends and colleagues consider me as the audio books expert. They tell their friends that they know an audio books expert and the outcome is that I keep getting dozens of audio books questions and inquiries each day. I have decided to gather the most frequently asked questions for everyone’s benefit.

Here are the top five frequently asked questions about audio books (and the answers of course):

1. Are there free audio books? How do I get them?
In one word: NO. In two words: Not exactly. Depends of the type of audio book you are looking for (downloadable audio book are cheaper than the other types), and the audio book title (new audio books cost more), you could find low cost audio books.

I believe that one should pay for each product or service he gets. Yet, you could find free audio books mostly by signing up for the free trials most of the online audio book services give you.

2. What is better – Audio books rental or audio books buying?
I personally prefer audio books rental. Mostly because of the price – I read a lot of audio books and it will simply cost too much to buy them all. However, audio books that I really like, Ones that I want to listen to time after time, I buy and keep them on my audio books library.

Yet, I have friends who are more possessive – they are not willing to rent audio books and they must hold a remarkable huge audio book library.

3. What do you suggest – downloadable audio books, audio books on CD or books on tape?
Well, that’s a tough question. Basically, I believe that the most worthy audio books format nowadays is downloadable audio books. You must own a media player (e.g. Ipod) to listen to it. Yet, it costs less than the others and has a better quality.

However, the widest collection of audio books could be found on the audio books on CD format. If you want to listen to old books you will find them only on CDs.

I do not recommend getting books on tape (also known as audio books on cassettes). They are expensive, low quality and not user friendly.

4. When can I read audio books?
The answer is – Anytime and anywhere. Here are a few examples: While cooking, cleaning the house, exercising, running, walking, driving, flying, before going to sleep, commuting, working etc.

5. Are audio books expensive?
Audio books are not expensive at all. In fact, Downloadable audio books are very cheap – they cost much less than real books and renting them is the most worthy deal. Audio books on CD cost about the same as real books and books on tape are the most expensive ones.